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K2 - Siren of the Himalayas

Everest is easy to climb, but India's K2 (currently in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) takes life, after all, why is the world's second-highest peak dangerous?

Before we start, first let us tell you some information about K2.

Godwin Austin (Mount K-2 / K-2) mountain is the highest peak of the Karakoram range of Kashmir India ( currently Pakistan Occupied Kashmir)

It is situated between the borders of Takkorgan Tajik in China, Xinjiang and Gilgit-Baltistan of India (currently Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). It is the second-highest peak in the world after Everest, which is 28,250 feet / 8611 meters high. This peak is often covered with snow and hidden in clouds. There are ice streams 30 and 40 miles long on its side.

How did K2 get its name?

It is named after Henry Haversham Godwin Austin (1834–1923 AD) who surveyed it in the late 19th century. Local people call it Dapsang.


The name of this mountain 'K-2' was given by British surveyor TG Montgomery in 1852. Since it is part of the Karakoram mountain range, 'K' and '2' are second. Its local name is 'Chhogori'. This word in the Baltic language means huge mountain.

Why K2 is so dangerous?

K-2 is also called 'Savage Mountain' which means violent mountain due to its severe weather and difficulties. The K-2 is one of the most difficult mountains of 'Atthausander' to climb, with technical climbing, harsh weather and a high risk of avalanches. Climbers try to climb this painful mountain only between June and August. This is a mountain on which no one has been able to climb to date in the winter season.

K2 is often referred to as the 'Siren of the Himalayas'. It is believed that only one climber out of 20 is successful in climbing this mountain peak. Because of this, it is considered the most dangerous mountain in the world. The death rate on K2 is over 25 per cent while the death rate on Everest is only 6.5 per cent.

The height of Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, is 8848 meters while the height of K2 is 8611 meters. Nevertheless, it is a big challenge for climbers around the world. The biggest tragedy happened here in 2008. In a single day, 11 climbers were killed while climbing here.


The challenge of K2 increases because of its location. Mount Everest is in Nepal, which is always ready to welcome tourists. The facilities are also better. While K2 is in the Karakoram range of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, going where is a challenge in itself. Facilities are negligible in this debt-ridden country. Mountaineers also have to face difficulties with visas.

It is easier to reach the base camp of Everest. The roads here are much better. Experienced Sherpas are easily available to help with that. Whereas in Pakistan it is not so. Here one has to face a lot of challenges to reach the base camp. Glaciers, snow and boulders exhaust you even before you reach the base camp. Sherpas are also difficult to find and most of the stuff you have to carry on your own.

Every year a large number of climbers come to Everest. Because of this, the route to the top has been made in a very good way. You don't have to climb very steep climbs. But the route of K2 is not clear. You have to proceed at the mercy of the mountains and the weather. This mountain is a triangle, so you have to climb steeply for a whole day. Every day here is challenging.

While climbing Everest, there are local small towns in the first day or two, which gives you some relief. But this is not the case on K2, this mountain is completely deserted. There is only snow far and wide. If you are in trouble, it may take days to get help.

Everest is very popular in the world. That's why many companies and guides are ready to take the climbers to the top. Climbing here is made easy by tying ropes on the popular route. But on K2 these facilities are negligible.

There is another reason why K2 is dangerous. Avalanches come here compared to Everest. Because of this, climbing K2 requires luck as well as skill.

K2 is located north of Everest. Because of this, no prediction can ever be made about the weather here. You don't know what you might face next.

Victory over K2 Summit

As of 2009, 305 climbers have attempted to reach the summit of K-2, of which 76 have died. The year 1986, known as the 'deadliest year' of K-2, was the saddest year when 13 of the 27 climbers were killed on it. K2 is considered more difficult and dangerous than Mount Everest. 246 people have climbed K-2 while 2238 on Mount Everest.

There have been many mountaineering expeditions to this peak, the first one to climb K2 in 1902 which ended in failure. Then the attempts for 1909, 1934, 1938, 1939 and 1953 also failed. It is noteworthy that the campaigns of 1909, 1938 and 1939 AD were respectively under the leadership of the Duke of Abruzzi, Dr Charles Houston and Fritz Wiesner. In the last expedition, a height of up to 27,500 was climbed, but on July 31, 1954, under the leadership of Professor of Geology of the University of Milan 'Ardito Desio', the first Italian expedition was successful in reaching its peak.

First Climb

In 1902, an expedition team of six climbers, including British climbers Aleister Crowley and Oscar Ekinstein, reached the first attempt to climb K-2. The team spent 68 days on the mountain, of which only 8 days could be found suitable for climbing. Of these, 5 attempts were made to reach the summit. But due to bad weather and all the adversities, all the efforts of the team failed and eventually they had to give up.

Second Climb

Two Italian climbers Achill Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli are the first humans to reach the summit of K-2. He got this success on 19 July 1954, which was celebrated with great pride in Italy. But when this team led by Ardito Dacio returned home, Walter Bonati of the team created a controversy by blaming both. But later these allegations turned out to be false and erroneous.

23 years later, in August 1977, a Japanese Kohe scale, Charo Wasizua, was able to climb it. With him, the Ashraf was the first Pakistani who climbed on it. In 1978 an American team managed to climb.

Godwin Austen Campaign

In 1981 a satellite transit survey, together with a US expedition to Mount Godwin Austen, also known as K2, concluded that the K2 peak, long known as the world's second-highest peak, actually is 26228 feet i.e. 8990 meters high. Due to which it becomes a peak even higher than Everest. The study done in 1981 may be the more accurate study at that time. In which laser rangefinders and satellites orbiting the Earth were used. But most did not agree with this new discovery and considered Everest to be the highest mountain peak in the world. Most sources, including the 1994 Oxford Encyclopedic World Atlas, but the height of Everest at 29029 feet, or 8848 meters, and that of K2 at 28251 feet, ie, 8611 meters. During this, the 1994 Guinness Book of Records quoted the 1987 arrangement of the Research Council of Rome as the height of Everest as 29078 feet i.e. 8863 meters and K2's 28238 feet i.e. 8607 meters.

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